Published by: Inter-America Division of SDAs | March 2, 2017
Andrews Memorial Hospital is located in n Kingston, Jamaica, has been described as a gift to Jamaica from the Church. (Image by Nigel Coke/IAD)
Adventists-owned Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH) in Kingston,
Jamaica, was the Center of Excellence site where a patient was the first ever
to benefit from a 4-level viscoelastic cervical disc replacement procedure.
The surgery, which
will usher in a revolutionary new treatment approach in spinal surgery
globally, was performed by a team of doctors led by Harvard-trained and
world-renown orthopedic spinal surgeon, Dr. Kingsley R Chin on Jan. 30, 2017,
using an advanced technology known as the Freedom Cervical Disc.
Owned by Axiomed Inc.,
the technology took sixteen years and over US$85 million to achieve the level
of perfection, safety and efficacy in both the lumbar and cervical versions to
implant the discs in the United States, Europe and Australia. The lumbar
version completed its clinical trials in more than 400 patients in the United
States and will likely be available in 2018. The cervical version completed the
preclinical trials in Europe.
Dr. and Professor Kingsley Chin. Image courtesy of Dr. Kingsley Chin
Jamaica and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Dr. Kingsley R Chin is Jamaican
and a leading surgeon-entrepreneur who saw the benefits of the technology and
invested in buying it from the original group of founders so he could now offer
it in Jamaica. Dr. Chin worked in business in New York City before becoming a
surgeon and follows a lineage of doctors who have pioneered advances in
medicine. He founded companies to commercialize technologies that have benefited
The patient was happy
to have been introduced to LES Institute by a relative of hers where she met
Dr. Chin. She was also grateful for the fact that the surgery took place in
Jamaica at AMH with a team of doctors that she was familiar with. The patient
is at home recuperating and looking forward to become more active soon, added
The company called
Axiomed Inc is owned under his health technology investment firm, KIC Ventures.
Dr. Chin founded the company in 2005 to invest in advancing the standard of
health care for patients worldwide. The technology is ideal for treating the
painful degenerative spine as it most closely mimics the normal disc using a
proprietary viscoelastic polymer technology for which Axiomed has a 15-year
exclusive license for use in the spine, explained Chin.
According to Chin, the
purpose of the disc is to relieve neck and back pain while maintaining more
normal motion and alignment than is allowed with other competing disc
replacements and spinal fusion devices, which immobilize the spine.
Dr. Chin, who has been
operating out of the University of the West Indies (UWI) as a visiting
professor for ten years was encouraged by Dr. Fabio Pencle, a Seventh-day
Adventist Physician, a year ago to open his US-based Orthopedic and Spine
Surgery, LESS Institute Inc. Center of Excellence at AMH. The LESS Institute Inc. is
the world leader in LESS Exposure Surgery (LES), the newest philosophy of less
invasive surgery, which allows patients to be discharged the same day after
surgery with quick recovery.
Dr. Chin grew up as a
practicing Seventh-day Adventist in his hometown of Buff Bay, Portland and left
Jamaica for the United States on a football-academic scholarship to attend
Columbia University in New York City, where he earned two diplomas, was
president of his senior class and ivy-league player of the year at soccer. He
went on to graduate studies at Harvard University where he earned four diplomas
and became an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Chin spent four years teaching at the
University of Pennsylvania as the chief spine surgeon before he moved to
Florida to open the LES Institute.
“I am blessed to have
the desire, ability, commitment, means and access to resources to allow me to
give back to Jamaica in very meaningful and powerful ways like this surgery,”
said Dr. Chin. “Coming from the humblest of circumstances, I can now look back
and see the reasons for my journey. I especially see how much I needed the
strength and lessons I received from my Seventh-day Adventist faith as a young
boy and why it is fitting for AMH to be the site of this historic surgery.” He
still has to do his best every day at every level for every future patient,
said Chin. “I pray for humility to keep learning to be better as I dedicate
myself to excellence, never forgetting that I am blessed for a reason.”
Dr. Chin was assisted
in the surgery by UWI and Yale University-trained Neurosurgeon Dr. J.
Geoffrey Liburd; anesthesiologist Dr. P. Jason Toppin; Oxford
University-trained Rhodes Scholar, Dr. David Walcott and nurse manager Roxanne
Shaw-Edwards and her staff at AMH. “We are delighted that the hospital could
have partnered with Dr. Chin to execute this historic surgery in Jamaica,” said
Pastor Everett Brown, chairman of the board of governors of AMH, and president
of the church in Jamaica. “We are pleased to know that our hospital is
strategically placed and has the capacity not only to provide basic health care
to people from all social, religious and economic background, but also to
address the healthcare needs of individuals, utilizing modern technology.”
Photo of the cervical and lumbar discs. (Image courtesy of Dr. Kingsley Chin)
Brown said the
hospital remains committed to making the facility available to enhance the
physical, mental and spiritual well-being of all people.”
AMH currently boasts
65 beds, five wards, four operating theaters, one which specializes in large
specialty cases such as open heart surgery, a multi-dimensional CT Scan machine
and a major medical complex. Over the years, the hospital has developed a
reputation for being one of the most outstanding maternity centers in Jamaica
and many of the island’s foremost obstetricians/gynecologists make it their
hospital of choice for their patients.
The hospital also
operates the only United States Medical Service for Embassy Visa, which is
necessary for applicants to meet their medical clearance for permanent visa.
“The vision for AMH is
to be the hospital of choice for the Caribbean and in order to accomplish that,
we have to provide our patients with the most highly advanced and technically
innovative equipment available to medical science,” said Dr. Marvin Rouhotas
Chief Executive Officer of AMH.
this historic surgery has positioned AMH with the advantage of the expertise of
neuro-spinal surgery not perform anywhere else in the world and look forward to
offering this service to patients from overseas,” said Rouhotas. Dr. Rouhotas
explained that Dr. Chin and members of his team are pursuing development of a
spinal surgical program that will further the cause for Jamaica’s health
In October 2010, the
Gleaner Company, Jamaica’s oldest print newspaper, described Andrews Memorial
Hospital as a gift to Jamaica from the Church when it presented the hospital
with the Gleaner Honor Award for its commitment to providing first-class health
care to Jamaicans.